Google Pixel 8a: Mid-range Android, cutting-edge AI

Google Pixel 8a: Mid-range Android, cutting-edge AI
Google Pixel 8a: Mid-range Android, cutting-edge AI

Equipped with a Tensor G3 chip, the Pixel 8a supports the same powerful AI features as Google’s flagship phones.

Considering its price of just $679, this is the best mid-range Android phone on the market and perhaps one of the best values ​​of any phone currently on sale.

Design

The Pixel 8a is almost identical to the standard Pixel 8. However, there are some differences. The most obvious ones are wider bezels and screen size. Instead of a 6.2-inch screen, the Pixel 8 maxes out at 6.1 inches. You still get an OLED panel and a slightly faster 120Hz refresh rate compared to last year’s Pixel 7a.

The frame of the phone is still aluminum, which feels nice to the touch, while the metal camera bar on the back is actually a millimeter or two thinner, resulting in an even sleeker device. Google also replaced the Pixel 8’s glass back panel with plastic.

Tensor G3

Google’s Tensor chips don’t offer the same level of raw performance as competing chips from Apple or Qualcomm. But the Pixel 8a’s G3 is fast and responsive, even for gaming.

Part of the performance improvements come from all the onboard AI features that the Tensor G3 unlocks, such as Audio Magic Eraser, Best Take, and Magic Editor, which you can use as much as you want instead of the 10-photo cap at which free users are subject to Google Photos.

Photo

On the photo side, the Pixel 8a has the same 64 MP main and 13 MP ultrawide sensor as last year’s Pixel 7a. It’s still a very good camera. The Pixel 8a doesn’t have any other hardware tricks aside from a solid 13MP selfie camera, Google’s AI is here to make your photos even better. Best Take lets you capture multiple group photos and then swap people’s reactions from different options. It’s easy to use and allows you to create a composite where everyone is smiling, which seems like a win-win scenario. Then there’s Magic Editor, a fun and powerful way to eliminate distracting elements or move topics the way you want.

On the battery side, the Pixel 8a can last 8 and a half hours between charges. Google is not innovating with the Pixel 8a. But cutting-edge cameras, a great screen, good battery life, and a sleek design will never go out of style, especially for the price. The addition of AI features that were previously only available on Google’s flagship phones also makes it smarter than its rivals.

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